Democracy Forum 2/15/19

The Free Press and a Functioning Democracy

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

We talk about democracy, journalism, the state of play in American news.
Can fact-based journalism survive?
Can democracy survive otherwise?

Guests:
Earl Brechlin, Earl was the founding editor of the Mount Desert Islander. friendsofacadia.org/news/friends-acadia-welcomes-earl-brechlin-communications-director/
Burt Neuborne, Burt Neuborne is the Norman Dorsen Professor of Civil Liberties and founding Legal Director of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School. He is the author of the book, Madison’s Music, that explores a deep reading of the First Amendment. its.law.nyu.edu/facultyprofiles/index.cfm?fuseaction=profile.biography&personid=20165
Judy Woodruff, Judy Woodruff is the anchor and managing editor of the PBS Newshour. www.pbs.org/newshour/about/judy-woodruff

To learn more about this topic:
More Important But Less Robust? Five Things Everybody Needs to Know about the Future of Journalism Reuters Institute Report, January, 2019
Does Journalism have a Future? Jill Lepore in The New Yorker, January 28, 2019
Is journalism’s `pivot to dust’ arriving? Megan McArdle in the Washington Post, January 26, 2019
How We Know Journalism is Good for Democracy, Josh Stearns, posted at Medium, a publication of PACE: Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement, June 26, 2018
Local newspapers have already been gutted. There’s nothing left to cut. Steve Cavendish, the Washington Post, January 25, 2109.
Madison’s Music: On Reading the First Amendment, Burt Neuborne, 2015.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Sheila Kirby, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

This episode of Democracy Forum was produced with support from the Maine Humanities Council.

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 1/18/19

Cyber Attacks on Democracy: Social Media, Fake News, and Voter Responsibility

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
We’ll talk about cyber attacks on elections, weaponizing misinformation, social media, and disinformation.
Is this the new normal?
Can democracy survive?

Guests:
Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center and author of the new book, Cyber War: How Russian Hackers and Trolls Helped Elect a President – What We Don’t, Can’t, and Do Know www.asc.upenn.edu/people/faculty/kathleen-hall-jamieson-phd
Jamie McKown, Faculty, Government & Polity at the College of the Atlantic and James Russell Wiggins Chair in Government and Polity. coa.edu/live/profiles/1179-jamie
mckown/templates/details/faculty.php

To learn more about this topic:
Can Mark Zuckerberg Fix Facebook Before It Breaks Democracy?, Evan Osnos in The New Yorker, September, 2018.
Machine Politics, Fred Turner in Harpers Magazine, January, 2019.
Secret campaign to use Russian-inspired tactics in 2017 Ala. election stirs anxiety for Democrats, Washington Post, January, 2019.
New Report on Russian Disinformation Prepared for the Senate shows the Operations Scale and Sweep, Washington Post, December, 2018.
New Studies Show Pundits Are Wrong About Russian Social-Media Involvement in US Politics, Aaron Maté, The Nation, December, 2018.
The most underplayed story of the 2016 election is voter suppression, Rachelle Hampton, The New Republic, January, 2019. Call In Program: Yes

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Sheila Kirby, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 11/30/18

Election 2018: What Happened and What Does It Mean?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Be sure to catch Democracy Forum in its regular time slot, 10-11 am on the 3rd Friday off each month. This edition of the Democracy Forum was canceled earlier in November due to a storm, and rescheduled in today’s time slot for this month only.

Key Discussion Points:
We talk about who won in Maine and why.
How do the election outcomes in Maine reflect national trends–or not–along the dimensions of party majorities, women and minority candidates, voter turnout, demographics, and voter suppression?
What does it all mean for governing in the biennium ahead?

Guests:
John Baughman, Associate Professor of Politics at Bates College. www.bates.edu/politics/faculty/john-baughman/
Jill Goldthwait, Columnist and former independent Maine State Senator www.mdislander.com/author/jgoldthwait

To learn more about this topic:
2018: Another ‘Year of the Woman’ Brookings, November 8, 2018.
Americans will head to the polls in a week. Here’s why some won’t. Washington Post, October 30, 2018.
Maine’s toss-up 2nd District appears headed to a ranked-choice count, Bangor Daily News, November 7, 2018.
Brian Kemp’s Lead in Georgia Needs an Asterisk, The Atlantic, November 7, 2018.
2018 exit polls show greater white support for Democrats, Brookings, November 8, 2018.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Sheila Kirby, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 10/19/18

Political Polls: Can We Ever Trust Them Again?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
the state of the art in political polling,
why polls sometimes get it wrong,
the emerging challenges for pollsters,
what citizens need to know about who and what to believe.

Guests:
aAmy Fried, Professor & Department Chair, Political Science, University of Maine umaine.edu/polisci/faculty-and-staff/amy-fried/
Courtney Kennedy, Director of Survey Research at the Pew Research Center. www.pewresearch.org/staff/courtney-kennedy/

To learn more about this topic:
Can we still trust polls? by Courtney Kennedy, May, 2018, from FactTank: News in Numbers at the Pew Research Center.
Why Polling Can Be So Hard by Nate Cohn, September, 2018, from TheUpshot at the New York Times.
You can trust the polls in 2018, if you read them carefully by Josh Pasek and Michael Traugott for The Conversation.
Pathways to Polling: Crisis, Cooperation and the Making of Public Opinion Professions, Amy Fried, 2011.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes: Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Sheila Kirby, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 9/21/18

Elections in Maine: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
what citizens need to know about the conduct of elections in Maine:
what are the opportunities for citizen participation and observation;
what aspects are conducted by the State with regard to the security and integrity of the process and the electronic components;
what role do the town clerks play in making sure things run smoothly, etc.

Guests:
Patti Dubois, Waterville City Clerk www.waterville-me.gov/clerk/
Julie Flynn, Deputy Secretary of State, Maine Secretary of State’s Bureau of Corporations, Elections and Commissions. www.eac.gov/testing/staff-modules/julie-l-flynn/

To learn more about this topic:
History of the Municipal Clerk, September, 2014, at the International Institute for Municipal Clerks
Maine Town and City Clerks Association
Maine Secretary of State Elections Division
U.S. Elections Assistance Commission

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin, Maggie Harling, Sheila Kirby, Ann Luther, Maryann Ogonowski, Pam Person, Leah Taylor, and Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 7/20/18

Distrust in Government: A Necessary Evil or a Weapon of Destruction?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
a) the waxing and waning of Americans’ trust in government
b) why a little skepticism may be a good thing
c) how partisanship plays into the equation
d) how too much distrust may be a self-fulfilling prophecy

Guests:
Amy Fried, Professor & Department Chair, Political Science, University of Maine umaine.edu/polisci/faculty-and-staff/amy-fried/
Thomas E. Mann, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at The Brookings Institution and Resident Scholar, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley www.brookings.edu/experts/thomas-e-mann/

To learn more about this topic:
Public Trust in Government: 1958-2017, Pew Research Center, December, 2017.
The Strategic Promotion of Distrust in Government in the Tea Party Age, Amy Fried, 2015.
Finding the Common Good in an Era of Dysfunctional Governance Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, Daedelus, Spring 2013.
A More Perfect Union, New York Times book review of Garry Willis’s book, A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government, 1999.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 6/15/18

State Preemption: From Guns to Garbage, Who’s Got the Power?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
a) how federalism protects and constrains states’ rights and?
b) how states can both protect and commandeer local control.
c) from guns and garbage to water quality and pesticides, how much control do states and towns have to protect their assets or advance their values

Guests:
Garrett Crobin, a Legislative Advocate for the Maine Municipal Association www.memun.org/Legislative-Advocacy/Contact-Information
Lauren E. Phillips, newly-minted JD from Columbia Law and authored an important article on state pre-emption for the Columbia Law Review.

To learn more about this topic:
Impeding Innovation: State Preemption of Progressive Local Regulations, Lauren Phillips in the Columbia Law Review, Volume 117, No. 8, December 2017.
Blue Cities Want to Make Their Own Rules. Red States Won’t Let Them. more from TheUpshot at the New York Times, July, 2017.
From Fracking Bans To Paid Sick Leave: How States Are Overruling Local Laws, PR Watch’s Lisa Graves on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, April, 2016.
Soda And Fast Food Lobbyists Push State Preemption Laws To Prevent Local Regulation, Robb Waters in Forbes Magazine, June, 21, 2017.
Municipal Approaches in Maine to Reduce Single-use Consumer Products, Travis Wagner in the Maine Policy Review, 2016.
Preemption Watch Newsletter,
Preemption Doctrine, by Ellerbe P. Cole, Maine Municipal Association in Maine Townsman,” Legal Notes,” June 1991.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheil Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org

Democracy Forum 5/18/18

Immigration: Can We Live Without It?

Host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters of Maine
Engineer: Amy Browne

Key Discussion Points:
Immigration and jobs
Federal policy
Effect on economic development and workforce in Maine

Guests:
Dany Bahar, David M. Rubenstein Fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution www.brookings.edu/experts/dany-bahar/
Carla Dickstein, Senior Vice President for Research and Policy Development at the Coastal Enterprise Institute www.ceimaine.org/about/staff-directory/name/carla-dickstein/
Martha Searchfield, Executive Director of the Bar Harbor Chamber Commerce www.visitbarharbor.com/staff-board-of-directors

To learn more about this topic:
Immigrants’ Contribution to Maine’s Workforce and Economy, from the Coastal Enterprise Institute
Building Maine’s Economy: How Maine Can Embrace Immigrants and Strengthen the Workforce, more from CEI, 2016.
100 Years Ago, Maine’s Economy Was Powered by Immigrants reporting in the Bangor Daily News, September, 2017.
The Trump administration failed to study immigration vetting. So I did. David Bier from the Cato Institute in the Washington Post
Migrants and refugees: The unlikely key for economic development, Dany Bahar for Brookings.

The all-volunteer team at the League of Women Voters – Downeast who plan and coordinate this series includes:
Starr Gilmartin
Maggie Harling
Linda Hoskins
Sheila Kirby
Ann Luther
Maryann Ogonowski
Pam Person
Leah Taylor
Linda Washburn

FMI re League of Women Voters of Maine: www.lwvme.org